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🎄 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

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Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

We kicked off the holiday season with the annual lighting in the heart of New York City with Christmas in Rockefeller Center, which aired on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 8-10 p.m.

NBC News' TODAY co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin hosted the highly anticipated holiday special. Viewers were treated to festive performances by Alessia Cara, Harry Connick Jr., Mickey Guyton, Norah Jones, Brad Paisley, Rob Thomas, Carrie Underwood and more. The evening included a duet featuring Paisley and Thomas and a special performance by the Radio City Rockettes.

To stay informed about the 2021-2022 Tree, sign up for The Center newsletter.

Visiting Hours

The tree will be lit daily from from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6am to 9pm.

Contact & Directions

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112

1. 212.588.8601

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History of the Tree

For more than eight decades, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has stood as a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike. While the lights, decorations, and stars have changed through the years, visiting the Tree remains a quintessential New York experience.

The Christmas Tree FAQs

How big is the Tree?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a 79ft tall Norway Spruce, 46 feet wide and weighs 12 tons.

How old is the Tree?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is approximately 85 years old.

Where is this year's Tree from?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree hails from Elkton, MD.

How many lights are on the Tree?

There are more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights on approximately 5 miles (8 km) of wire.

How big is the star on the Tree?

Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018, the three dimensional Swarovski star weighs approximately 900 pounds (408. 23 kg) and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals.

When does the Tree arrive in New York City?

To allow adequate time for it to be decorated before it’s lit, the Tree will arrive on Saturday, November 13.

How do I watch the Christmas Tree lighting?

Stay tuned for more information about public access to this year’s tree lighting. You are always invited to view the live national broadcast “Christmas at Rockefeller Center” from home on NBC.

When is the Tree lighting?

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, December 1.

When does the Tree come down?

This is yet to be determined, but details about when the Tree will come down will be announced in the coming weeks. To stay informed about all the details, sign up for The Center newsletter.

Visiting Hours

The tree will be lit daily from from 6am-12am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6am to 9pm.

Contact & Directions

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York, NY 10112



Rockefeller Center and its iconic Christmas Tree are the epicenter of holiday celebrations in New York.

Experience the Holidays in NYC

Habitat for Humanity—A Gift that Keeps on Giving

Continuing a longstanding holiday tradition, the 2021 Christmas Tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, milled, treated, and made into lumber that will be used for home building. A symbol of hope, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree inspired the children’s book, The Carpenter’s Gift, written by David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMarche in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity.

Learn More

Donate Your Tree

Traditionally we've selected a Norway spruce in the later years of its life cycle, measuring at least 75 feet tall and 45 feet in diameter. If you have a Norway spruce you would like us to consider as the centerpiece for this historic Rockefeller Center tradition, we would love to hear from you.

Submit a Tree

The Holidays in The Center Magazine

Featuring seemingly as many holiday happenings as there are lights on the Tree, our Holiday Stories cover past and future events here.

Read Our Stories

Arts & Culture

The Tree Through the Years

Holiday highlights since 1931

Nov 3 2015

Arts & Culture

Meet the Man Who Has Picked the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for Three Decades

Erik Pauze, the head gardener for Rockefeller Center and the man behind the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, gives the inside scoop on bringing holiday magic to 30 Rock.

Nov 5 2021

How was your view from Top of the Rock? Share your experience!


• The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center 2022 ▷ EVERYTHING you need to know!

The Christmas tree in New York at Rockefeller Center is arguably the most famous Christmas tree in the city, and its lighting is celebrated at the free Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in New York. After the ceremonial opening, the Christmas season in New York officially begins!

In New York, the opening of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center right after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday season.

In recent years, we haven’t had great luck with the weather, but the lighting ceremony still attracts countless people every year. Most visitors only know the tree from movies like „Home Alone 2 – Lost in New York“, so it’s very impressive to stand in front of it in person. The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is therefore a highlight for many at Christmas in New York.

The lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is one of the absolute highlights of the Christmas season in New York. The Christmas Tree attracts 500,000 visitors per day (!). Everything you need to know about this great event, you can find out here!

My tip: If you want to avoid the crowds, you can attend an exclusive tree lighting party with views of the tree.

Table of Contents

When is the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony?

The ceremony takes place the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, which is the third Thursday in November. This year, the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony falls on December 1st. The ceremony starts around 6:30 pm but the tree won’t be lit until 9:55 pm. Usually, at the moment of the lighting, a general hush descends upon the masses gathered to view the event (a rarity in New York City), followed by thunderous applause. And the applause is warranted – the tree is a sight to behold.

Where will the opening of the Christmas tree in New York take place?

Directly in front of Rockefeller Center, the largest Christmas tree in New York will be opened, which is on 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. You can expect not only the first “switching on” of the lights, but also a real event with live broadcast on TV, jolly atmosphere and definitely a lot of fun!

At what time will the Christmas tree be lit?

The opening ceremony starts at 6:30 pm. The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Plaza is the most popular photo motif in New York during the Christmas season!

Until when can you see the famous Christmas tree?

You can view the Christmas Tree in New York from December 1, 2021 to January 16, 2022.

My tip: You want to stay close to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree? Check out my list of the Best Hotels near Rockefeller Center!

Is it possible to see the Christmas tree for free?

After the famous Tree Lighting Ceremony at Rockefeller Center, you can also view the Christmas tree for free at any time. I think it’s especially nice if you combine that with a visit to the popular ice skating rink right in front of the tree. It’s just awesome and just as cheesy as it sounds, it is – but in an extremely positive way!

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Click Here To Learn More

Best Tours to experience the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

Opening of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

The Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is set up and decorated several weeks before – but it really isn’t lit until the official Tree Lighting Ceremony. Really every New York visitor who is in the city between December and early January visits the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. The tree is the absolute star in Manhattan for this period. In the days that follow, it is dismantled and, thanks to Habitat for Humanity, processed so that it can be used to build houses for those in need. After that, it’s back to waiting until the next Christmas season in New York.

The opening of the Christmas tree is a special event

Around 8:00 p.m. New York time, the time has usually come. The huge Christmas tree in New York finally shines in its full glory. Usually there is absolute silence on the plaza for a moment – a rarity in New York City – but this is generally followed by thunderous applause. And rightly so, because the Christmas tree in New York at Rockefeller Center has nothing to hide. Beautiful and sparkling, it decorates the plaza every year.

My tip

Sparkling and beautiful, it is the centerpiece of the Plaza every year. Our tip: if you would like to witness the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to get there no later than 3 pm with the ceremony starting at 7 pm. Every year, the crowds get bigger. You won’t be able to see the tree if you’re only an hour or two early. If you want to see the tree and be part of the ceremony, expect to wait outside in the cold for hours.

About the Tree Lighting Ceremony

It’s the spectacle of the holiday season. Many people travel great distances to New York City just to attend the Tree Lighting Ceremony in person. It’s a dream come true and over the years, it’s become a bigger and bigger event that features many performances. The tree lighting ceremony lasts for about 3 hours, starting at around 7 pm and ending around 10 pm. Here’s what you need to know if you want to attend the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony:

Is the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony free to attend?

Yes! However, you need to be there at least 2-3 hours in advance to secure a good spot with a view of the tree. The opening of the Christmas tree in New York is one of the most popular events of the year. Therefore, there are events and parties around the ceremony that guarantee a view of the tree without you having to stand in line for a long time. We visited such a party for you and wrote a detailed experience report on the Christmas tree VIP opening ceremony. There you will find out if it is worth it for you.

If you’re looking for tickets to the Tree Lighting Ceremony, you’ll find them here. Included in the price is a buffet and exclusive access to the Terrace Club at Rockefeller Center, a beautiful 7th floor restaurant with its own terrace and bird’s eye view of Rockefeller Center!

How can I avoid the crowds at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony?

If you want to avoid the crowds, you can attend an exclusive tree lighting party with views of the tree. These parties do not only offer views of the trees from a warm room but also let you enjoy a great party with food in a festive atmosphere. Because the tree lighting ceremony is such a big deal in New York and only a few locations have great views of the tree, tickets are quite expensive. You will need to decide for yourself whether it is worth it. Check out the details of an exclusive party below.


*If there are no tickets left anymore, it’s because they are sold out! Because of high demand, you need to reserve your spots as soon as you can.

10 Mindblowing Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Facts

Before we dive into the facts, let us give you a quick idea of when you can see the famous Christmas tree in New York. The Rockefeller Center Tree is typically cut down at the beginning of November before it arrives at Rockefeller Plaza in mid-November. That doesn’t mean yet that it will be decorated right away!

First, the tree needs to be trimmed to guarantee the beautiful look we all know. After the trim, which typically takes about a week, the decorating-process starts and doesn’t finish until the day of the lighting ceremony.

How many miles did it have to travel to now be admired by the whole world? How many lights actually shine on the tree so that it can shine brightly? We took a closer look at the famous Christmas tree and discovered some exciting facts.

  1. Of course, everything is super-sized in New York City. The Christmas tree is no exception and the famous Norway Spruce typically comes in at a height of around 85 feet.
  2. The sparkling tree weighs about 13 tons.
  3. The branches of the fir are illuminated with about 50,000 LED bulbs on almost 10 kilometers of cable.
  4. The only thing that could possibly outdo the thousands of lights is the sparkling Christmas star tree topper. It is made from 25,000 real Swarovski crystals and is either light nor cheap. It weighs an astonishing 900 pounds and costs about $1.5 million.
  5. The first Tree Lighting Ceremony took place back in 1933.
  6. The spruces grow for over 90 years in order to have the honor of being the centerpiece of NYC’s beginning to the holiday season. The first tree lighting ceremony dates to 1933 meaning the trees are older than the ceremony itself.
  7. Every year, the tree is donated and comes from a different town, sometimes hundreds of miles away from Rockefeller Plaza. Oftentimes, however, it comes from New York or Pennsylvania. In 2021 the Rockefeller Christmas Tree will come from Maryland.
  8. On average, the Christmas tree gets 500,000 visitors a day! That comes to a total of 18 million Christmas visitors during its time as the centerpiece of Rockefeller Plaza.
  9. The tree consumes an incredible 1,297-kilowatt-hours per day. These come in large part from solar cells installed at Rockefeller Center. A good thing – I don’t think anyone wants to pay that power bill!
  10. Once the lights are turned off in January, the wood of the tree is donated to charity. For many years, it was mulched and then spread throughout New York’s parks. But then doors and door frames were made from the wood and donated to those in need. Sometimes the tree was also turned into paper.

How many lights on the Rockefeller tree 2021? –

The tree will be adorned with 50,000 multi-colored lights (strung over about 5 miles of wire!) and topped with a 900-pound star with 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals. Workers watch as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is moved by crane into place November 13, 2021 in New York City.

For example, what date do Christmas lights come on in New York? This year's Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center will take place on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

Do you need tickets to see the lighting of the Rockefeller Tree? The event is free and open to everyone. You do not need to purchase tickets, but it is recommended that you arrive no later than 4:00 AM ET to get a good view of the tree.

Also, is the Rockefeller tree lit up all night?

Visiting hours will be daily from 6:12 to 10:2022 until 24 January 6. On Christmas Day, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for a full 9 hours, and on New Year's Eve, it will be lit from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. After January XNUMX, the tree will be donated to Habitat For Humanity.

Also, is the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center still standing?

The tree, usually a Norwegian spruce 69 to 100 feet (21 to 30 m) tall, has been a national tradition every year since 1933. The lighting of the 2020 Christmas tree, which lacked a traditional audience due to the ongoing pandemic, took place on December 19, 2020, and the tree remained on display until January 2, 2020


Christmas decorations in New York in November?

Overview. New York is in the midst of autumn colors and is beginning to get into the spirit of the holiday, Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. Decorations are scattered throughout the city. The New York City Marathon, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday are the biggest events, but there's plenty to do throughout the month of New York City in November.

What to do in New York for Christmas 2021?

Here are the top things to do in New York for Christmas!

  • Skating in Central Park.
  • See the Rockettes at Radio City Musical Hall.
  • Admire the holiday windows.
  • Sixth Avenue Christmas decorations.
  • Go sledding in Central Park.
  • Watch The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center.
  • Drink iced hot chocolate at Serendipity.

Are there Christmas lights in New York in November?

But Thanksgiving is considered the start of the holiday season, and by the end of November, New York City is full of holiday lights. Nothing kicks off the Christmas season quite like the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which takes place on the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

Is Christmas a good time to visit New York?

The best time to visit New York is from April to June, from November to December. From April to June is spring, the weather is pleasant and there are fewer tourists than usual. New York City is at its best holiday mode in November and December with Thanksgiving followed by Christmas and New Years.

How much does it cost to light a Rockefeller tree?

The treetop decoration is made by a Swarovski jeweler and consists of 25,000 crystals. It will cost $45,000. 13,500 10 LED bulbs will only cost $80 - a bargain compared to retail prices. The tree itself is a Norwegian fir that weighs XNUMX tons and is XNUMX feet tall.

Can I visit Rockefeller Center for free?

5 answers. Yes, admission and walking are free. There are a number of shops and cafes and a restaurant. And the toilets that ate are open to the public.

How long will the Rockefeller tree stand in 2021?

Don't worry, you have plenty of time to see the tree (assuming you live near New York or your parents accidentally left you there alone, Home Alone 2 style). Last year's tree stood until January 2, 2021, but it looks like it will be up and decorated a little longer this year.

Where is the Rockefeller tree from this 2021?

Hold the next train F at the station, we are on our way. The New York tree icon hails from Elkton, Maryland this year and is a whopping 79 feet tall, 46 feet in diameter and 12 tons. On Saturday, it was lifted from its 115-foot trailer and put into place with a crane, and is now ready to decorate.

Did the Rockefeller tree grow until 2022?

Fun fact: The tree lighting ceremony airs every year on NBC and is usually lit by the mayor of New York.

The dates of the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.

Year Time day
2022 November 30 Wednesday
2023 November 29 Wednesday
2024 December 4 Wednesday
2025 December 3 Wednesday

Where can I watch the Rockefeller tree light up?

The 2021 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting will air on NBC at 8:1 AM ET on Wednesday, December XNUMX. If you plan to watch on your laptop or mobile device, you can tune in on the NBC website or the NBC app - just make sure you have your TV provider information handy.

Where can I stay in New York for Christmas?

Best New York Christmas Hotels

  1. Lotte New York Palace. Hotels.
  2. Plaza. Hotels.
  3. Thompson Central Park. In the fall of 2021, this Central Park hotel has evolved into the Thompson Hotel after four decades as the elegant Parker.
  4. New York Peninsula. Hotels.
  5. East Village Standard. Hotels.
  6. St. Regis New York.
  7. Gramercy Park Hotel.
  8. Pierre.

Should I go to New York in December?

If you are planning a trip to New York, you will find that December is one of the most fun and exciting times to visit. With the holidays approaching, you'll find plenty of special events, from ice skating to holiday markets offering seasonal treats or simply incredible light shows.

What will you wear for Christmas in New York?

What to bring to New York in winter 2022

  • Down jacket. Be sure to bring a very thick winter jacket filled with plush super-warm down.
  • Boots for cold weather.
  • Comfortable sneakers.
  • Hats, gloves and scarves.
  • Shoulder bag.
  • Useful accessories.

Will there be Christmas lights in Central Park 2021?

Winter Lights in Central Park will take place from November 25, 2021 to January 9, 2022 every evening from 4:30 AM to 9:30 AM. Opportunity to take pictures throughout the trip.

Is New York decorated for Christmas and Thanksgiving?

Every year, residents of Dyker Heights in Brooklyn decorate their homes with exquisite Christmas lights. Many of the houses are professionally decorated and some exhibits are worth up to $20,000! Many homes decorate the week after Thanksgiving, but the best viewing time is mid-December.

Is New York expensive at Christmas?

Is it expensive in New York at Christmas? As with any major city, New York is expensive in general, but especially around Christmas. Hotel and flight prices are high as these are peak travel times and visitors flock to the most popular attractions. Book flights and accommodation in advance at the best prices.

What is the best day of the week to visit New York?

Saturday and Sunday. Weekends can be the most exciting time for tourists in New York. Weekends are the time when most festivals and special events take place. There are flea markets, food festivals, parades and street fairs.

Should I buy New York in December?

November and December are great times to visit New York City because that's when the city celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve the most. December is also one of the busiest times to visit New York, so keep that in mind if you prefer to avoid crowds.

What happens to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center after Christmas?

What happens to the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree after the holidays? Rockefeller Center usually chooses a European Spruce as its holiday show. As soon as the trees fall, the trunks are ground into two-by-four and two-by-six blocks, which Tishman Speyer donates to Habitat.

How much does the star on top of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center weigh?

Three-dimensional Swarovski star on a Rockefeller Christmas tree with 70 spikes covered with three million crystals, weighs about 900 pounds and measures nine feet by four inches in diameter, according to Swarovski.

Who owns Rockefeller Center?

30 Rockefeller Plaza

30 Rockefeller Plaza (Comcast Building)
Owner NBCUniversal (2nd-16th floors) Tishman Speyer (all other floors)
roof 850 feet (260 m)
Technical details

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree 2017

December 01 2017 9007

Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center 2017


Friends, the day before yesterday, on November 29, in New York , a grand event of the year happened - the main New York tree - the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center - was lit! This event, without exaggeration, cannot be overestimated for New Yorkers. The installation ceremony of the city's main Christmas tree dates back to 1933 years (!) Since then, every year, in mid-November, the main New Year's tree of New York is installed opposite the main skyscraper of the complex Rockefeller Center , and on the evening of November 29 of each year, the mayor of the city, in the presence of millions of people, New Yorkers and guests of the city, an official fir-lighting ceremony is held. The ceremony is always accompanied by increased security measures, with the obligatory blocking of the main street of the city - Fifth Avenue and all other access roads. The concert program accompanying the ceremony usually includes a performance by one of the stars of the American music scene.

Ignition ceremony

But, if you paid attention, the ceremony held the day before yesterday was the 85th anniversary, and accordingly, the program was the most magnificent in comparison with all the previous ones, for this reason there were already as many as three - American actor and singer Leslie Odom, American a cappella group Pentatonix and singer Gwen Stefani. The ceremony itself began at 19:00, and, about an hour after the start, at about eight o'clock in the evening, the mayor of the city, Bill De Blasio, pressed the cherished button, and the 24-meter, perfectly lush tree was flooded with hundreds of thousands of colored lights, marking the beginning of Christmas and New Year holidays for millions of New Yorkers and city guests who came to celebrate 2018 in the main city of the world.


The choice of the city's main New Year's tree is handled by a man named Eric Pose, the position of this man is the florist of the Rockefeller Center! According to him, there are official “minimum” requirements for a tree - its height should not be less than 20 meters, and its width, in a completely free (blown) state, should not be less than 10 meters. Throughout the year, Mr. Pose is sent photos of trees from all over the country, choosing 5-6 best options, he goes on a business trip with a mandatory detour of all selected trees (even if they are located at different ends of the country) and personal choice and approval the only tree that 29November will be shown live on all TV channels of the country.

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